If you are new to cichlids here is a guide to help you know what to expect when ordering from our store. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Females do not show color
  • Size/Age/Maturity/Dominance are the greatest indicators of color. Large, Mature, Dominant, Male fish show the most color.
  • Haps color up much later than peacocks and mbunas
  • Many factors can impact color. Stress, water quality and feed just to name a few.

Color by Sizes

  • 1-1.5'' Unsexed Juveniles: These fish are only a few weeks old. They are colorless and nearly all strains/species will look almost identical.
  • 1.75-2.25'' Unsexed Juveniles: These fish are still too young to sex so males and females are identical and still nearly colorless.
  • 2.5-3" Unsexed: At this size there are some fish we can determine gender and some that are not. These are the fish still difficult to determine.
  • 2.5-3" Males: At this size, the fish are a couple months old and we are able to tell gender on some of the fish. This size is still quite young, and some fish may still be colorless (especially haps). This is due to them not being sexually mature or large enough to be a dominant fish in the tank.
  • 3-4'' Males: These fish are starting sexual maturity. There may be some good base color coming in for some and no color for others (especially haps). Dominance, water quality, and feed will be the greatest factor on their color.
  • 4"+ Males: This size will get you the best color. These fish are sexually mature and large enough to show good color even when they are not the most dominant fish in the tank.

**Many factors can effect coloring too.  Dominance/Confidence of the male is the biggest impact.  A newly arrived male may take some time to reach their full color potential, until they are comfortable and confident in their new tank.

**OB Cichlids have a lot of "hybrid vigor". Where most cichlids are bred for consistency in color, OBs differ greatly. The appearance can differ greatly between individuals.